Straight Angle™: A Post for me!!
Monday, May 09, 2005

A Post for me!! 

What is the difference between the ancient Indian architecture (spanning from whatever date you wish but ending at the arrival of the British) and the Imperial India's architecture?...Though I hadn’t personally or extensively seen or researched about these two, from whatever I have seen and grasped, I could see a very glaring difference…..the expression of brute force, the sheer magnificence, and the authority in the Imperial structures seldom miss our eyes. It was far more greater than it had been in the periods preceding it. Take some of the structures that the Raj built- like the Lutyen’s Delhi or the Victoria Terminus (now Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus). Apart from being an architectural marvel, they convey something more. There isn’t a subtle sense of mildness in them. They all seem to be overtly masculine, arrogant, intimidating (to some extent) and mighty. Take some of the Pre-Raj structures of India like the Thirumalai Naicker Mahal. True…they are big, they are magnificent….but they are subtle in their authority…never is their aggression naked as Raj’s. They aren’t over in their display of might as the Raj’s structures…May be because, the Raj had the necessity of displaying its authority, to morally subjugate people, to declare its supremacy and superiority to the natives..and a self-assumed justification of its role as the savior. But there is a caveat here…almost all the Temples of Gods were bigger and are aggressive in their architecture. They were always majestic, with an air of arrogance- with high rise outer walls, well fortified (Thanjavur Temple-even to the extent of an “Agazhi”)…sculptures that display power, might, force and have an aura of invincibility around them. But the seat of Governance had been sobre , gentle and mild in their authority.
The forts like Gingee differ vastly from that of St.George or the other forts of the Raj era. Does this means that, the rulers before the Raj era were more benevolent and had the popular mandate to rule, rather than the rule by force which the British resorted to? But then, there are numerous instances that prove otherwise….to an equally arrogant rule by the natives…So, why is this expression in buildings?
Savour this:
"Inscription that Lutyen ordered to be raised above the great recessed ivan gateway of the secretariats:
Liberty will not be descended to a people.
A people must raise themselves to Liberty;
It is a blessing which must be earned
Before it can be enjoyed. "
- Reproduced from "City of Djinns"- William Dalrymple, Pg-83

Though the author might not agree, or even despise, there could be an unique charm in the Victoriam Indo-Sacarenic architecture. Infact, I think there would be an unique proposition in any of the architectural eras. I couldn't comment on the Indo-Sacarenic architecture further, coz I know nothing of it.


Blogger Nithya said...

i would need an entire blog to comment on that one!

5/10/2005 1:07 AM  
Blogger Krish said...

I know U wud...is there anything that stops u frm doin that???...can u please go ahead and post a complete blog on that subject..I wus like to hear from the knowledgable..

5/10/2005 7:38 AM  
Blogger Nithya said...

hmmm...since u said knowledgable...hmm...i might just consider it...:-).btw..did u post that one just coz u felt u had to post something sensible...or..?.

5/10/2005 8:14 AM  
Blogger Krish said...

@Nithya: If this is the only post that passes ur test of sensibility, am I to be at fault..BTW, these are the thoughts that came along, when I was reading the book "City of Djinns"..ofcourse inbetween sleep and listening in the training sessions, I do read books...this is one of them..also, for quitesome time now, especially after seeing the tombs here in Hyd, I had been thinking on these lines...this is just another vent..BTW, Iam afraid there are many other things than Architecture that would pass my test of sensibility..how about urs?

5/10/2005 12:28 PM  
Blogger Nithya said...

hey...i dont recall ever saying that the post was sensible.....all i meant to ask was if u were trrrrryin to post something sensible ... :-)...and as for stuff which pass my test of sensibility....i wouldnt really know...most of the time nonsense makes a lotta sense to me....why else would i be going thru ur blog regularly...????:-)

5/11/2005 5:15 AM  
Blogger Krish said...

That was a big let down for me you know...I didnt expect that..I thought atleast a subject u know well would make some sense to you...BTW, ur logic of sensebility doesnt hold good...if something makes sense to you, then it is no longer non-sense..isn't it??..It can be nonsense to someone else...but not you...BTW, Iam still expecting a post from you..

5/11/2005 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Krish said...

BTW, can we just come outta this "Sensibility" subject...I dont want to speak on topics that I am not good at...

5/11/2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger Nithya said...

all i want to say is....architecture at all times has always been an extension of man and his personality....and thats the way it goes...i dont want to say anything more...

5/12/2005 2:42 AM  
Blogger Nithya said...

and yes ...no more 'sensible' talks!(quite difficult to do so....with u):-)

5/12/2005 2:44 AM  
Blogger Krish said...

Both the points agreed to...it is difficult to speak with me sensibly..thats been a constant reprive of almost all my frnds...
as far as the architecture stuff goes, it is a vital link to the history of men and the life he lived...true...point taken..

5/12/2005 2:51 AM  

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